Maintained schools governance guide: summary of changes

The DfE has withdrawn the Governance Handbook and replaced it with new guidance. Get up to speed on the changes, which include a change of format and a more streamlined approach.

Last reviewed on 13 March 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44498
  1. A new format
  2. Statutory policy list
  3. You must promote British values
  4. More focus on requirements rather than best practice
  5. Clearer requirements for headteachers to report to the board
  6. Requirements for cyber security training
  7. New advice about school visits
  8. Co-headteachers share a vote
  9. Greater clarity about chair's action
  10. New guidance about the governance professional/clerk
  11. Estates management
  12. Governors do not need right to work checks
  13. A stronger emphasis on wellbeing
  14. Other guidance changes to be aware of
  15. A summary of the guide

This article refers to the Department for Education’s (DfE) maintained schools governance guide which came into effect on 7 March 2024.

The guide is now the DfE’s primary source of governance information for the maintained sector. It replaces the Governance Handbook, which has now been withdrawn.

There are no significant changes and the new guide is likely to reflect what your board is already doing.

This article summarises what has changed in terms of format, emphasis and detail.

A new format

You will notice that this guide has quite a different look and feel from the Governance Handbook.

Some topics have been moved around within the guidance, and in some areas it

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